Tanzania: Satf Brings Smiles to Poor, Vulnerable Children

THE Social Action Trust Fund (SATF) has set aside 1bn/- for supporting children from poor families and those in venerable environment to acquire education from January to December, this year.

Currently, SATF sponsors a total of 168,071 in 15 regions in Tanzania mainland, with 1,757 children being in primary and secondary schools, 170 in vocational colleges and 189 in Universities.

The Fund's Senior Programme Officer, Ms Sylvia Ruambo said this week during the child protection stakeholders' meeting: "The Fund deals with children in primary schools and supports them up to tertiary level. Those who do not perform well in form four examinations are encouraged to go for vocational training in various colleges, they are offered working tools, including sewing machines for self-employment."

She stressed that SATF does a lot to support the government, including provision of insurance cards to not only vulnerable children but their parents as well.

"The children are also provided with nutritional supplements as well as psychological support victims of gender based violence related (GBV) acts," she said.

Usually, SATF engages the non-governmental organizations to identify the needy and put the children under special supervision in schools.

There are teachers who normally monitor the children and offer them support from SATF, mostly scholastic materials.

A teacher from Kakonko Secondary School in Kigoma region, Ms Belnadeta Nkoronko said that education on reproductive health is among her core task to girls from vulnerable families to let them understand issues related to early pregnancies and allied temptations.

She said: "Reproductive education is a part of GBV fight because it promotes self-awareness and help girls to attain their life dreams,"

Regional Community Development Officer, Ms Janeth Shishila praised the SATF especially on provision of sanitary pads, saying that in the past, many girls skipped classes during their menstruation periods.

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